Taken to the cleaners

A HIGHGATE woman who visited a carwash ended up being taken to the cleaners

Tan Parsons

A HIGHGATE woman who visited a carwash ended up being taken to the cleaners. Caroline Holdaway was landed with a bill of almost £5,000 after taking her Audi to the Coffee Carwash Company in Archway Road.

After leaving the car she received a phone call saying it had been involved in an accident. "When I went to pick it up there was a grind all along the side," said Ms Holdaway, an interior designer from Holmesdale Road.

"I was so shocked at the outside of the car that I didn't notice the smell, but they had also washed the leather upholstery on the inside with bleach. It was absolutely unbelievable."

She is still waiting for the company to reimburse her for the cost of the repairs six months after the incident, on August 9. She has now obtained a civil order from West London County Court ordering the company to pay after her lawyer brother, Malcolm, intervened.

The following morning Ms Holdaway was due to meet a rather special client - model and Strictly Come Dancing star Kelly Brook. "The car was still drivable and I headed down to Kent the next morning to meet her," she said.

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"I had to drive with the windows down because the smell of the bleach was totally disgusting and by the time I got there I was feeling nauseous. Kelly took one look at the car and said 'I'm not getting in that'. She offered to have the car cleaned there and then. I was due to see Alan Rickman the next week and I needed a presentable car."

Ms Holdaway had the car repaired and cleaned and the Coffee Carwash agreed to reimburse her for the costs, but she said she had been brushed off ever since.

Coffee Carwash say they want to resolve the incident as quickly as possible. "I have no idea why it has taken so long to resolve,'' said a spokesman.